Sept. 29, 2009
QB Colt McCoy
On the off week: It’s an opportunity, if you take advantage of it, to really sharpen up on some things. There’s a lot of things we can work on and be better at. We’ve got some guys banged up. They have a chance to get healthy. If you use the off week the right way, it can really help.
On using the bye week correctly: It’s real easy to slip off and not do that much in the off week, but we’ve taken advantage of it so far. We had a really good practice today, worked on the run game, worked on a few things that are really going to help us down the stretch. We’re using it wisely and hopefully it will carry over. We ended the UTEP game on a good note, and we definitely want to use what we did in that game and carry it into Colorado.
On the focus of the off week: We’re not getting away from game planning. We start back with conference soon. Colorado is going to come in here with a head of steam, so we definitely have to be ready. We’re working on some things that we need to work on, getting some guys healthy; it’ll be good for us.
On what he has learned about the team through four games: I’ve just learned that we have a lot of room for improvement. We’re not as good as we can be. We’re not as close to as good as we can be. We’ve got a long way to go. We’re working really hard. The first four games we learned that we can be really explosive. We’ve got a lot of talent on our team. When we play together, like we did against UTEP, we’ve got a chance to be really good.
On the team coming together: It’s coming together. To be able to play like that against UTEP, the defense gave us a lot of good field position and we were able to capitalize. We need to score more touchdowns in the red zone when we get down there. I think that was probably the biggest disappointment in that game.
On getting familiar with the wide receivers: We’re starting to get used to the receivers, starting to get used to where they’re lining up, where they’re playing, what routes they’re running, getting more comfortable versus man-to-man, finding little holes in zones. I knew as soon as the season started that it was going to be a work in progress until we really came together because if you look across the board, every receiver is playing a different position than what they did last year. I knew it was going to take time but to play like that and to have this open week to work, to be able to see that and head into conference play, I’m definitely pleased.
On how special teams returns energize a team: That’s definitely a spark. Any time you have a guy like D.J. (Monroe), Jordan (Shipley) or Marquise (Goodwin) back there that can make plays, you feel like they can score at any point. We truly are a team, and when they can make plays like that, everybody gets energized. It’s good.
On the team’s playmakers: There are a lot of guys who can make plays. My job is just to get the ball in their hands. We’re getting better and better at that. We’ve just got to keep working. I’m really pleased with where we are right now. The open date came at a good time. We have a chance to really work on some things that we need to work on. I’m just ready to get back on the field.
WR Jordan Shipley
On the off week: An off week is definitely at a good time for us – just to heal up and go over some things that we need to improve on. It’s definitely something that we look forward to as a time to work on some things and let everything heal up.
On being able to watch football this weekend: It is nice. During the season I don’t watch much football just because I see so much of it up here. In the off weekend it is nice to take some time and relax and just hang out. I’m really looking forward to it.
On the key to a good special teams return: I can tell you exactly what it is for me, it’s those 10 guys out there blocking. You can’t do any of it by yourself; those guys are the ones that open up all the holes. I’ve got to give all the credit to those guys. They work so hard. They really take a lot of pride in special teams. That’s what makes our special teams so successful.
On his role on kickoff returns this season: Coach wanted me to be limited on that kind of stuff just because I’m playing a lot of snaps on offense and getting the punt return stuff. Whatever he wants me to do, I’ll do that.
On being on pace to catch over 100 passes this season: It doesn’t make any difference to me. However many they throw me, that’s how many I’ll try to catch. As long as we win all the games, I’m happy. Whatever they ask us to do is all we can do. We do a good job of taking whatever the defense gives us. If we need to run the ball 40 or 50 times a game, we’ll do that. It doesn’t matter.
On what the wide receivers are working on this week: We’re working on mostly normal stuff, just getting in and out of routes, catching the ball well, stuff like that. It’s nothing special. We’re doing the same stuff we mostly do, mostly game plan stuff.
DT Lamarr Houston
On the off week: It’s just a part of the season. It’s a good time to get some extra work in and get a beat on the next game.
On how the defense has performed so far this season: I think we’ve done our job so far. We can still improve. We’ve got a lot of improvement to make, but we’ve been accomplishing what we’ve been told to do so far.
On what the defensive line needs to improve on: Sometimes we can keep our pad level lower and play with a little bit more intensity. Running the right plays and eliminating mental errors is what we need to improve right now.
On team building along the defensive line: I think we did a lot of team building this summer with me and Kheeston (Randall) and Ben Alexander and the other young guys. Getting them acclimated and just hanging out, hanging with Sergio (Kindle) and Sam Acho, hanging with some of the O-Line, I think we built a lot of team chemistry over the summer.
On what hit from the UTEP game got the biggest ovation from the team: I think Malcolm (Williams) was the one that got the biggest yell. That was the hardest hit I’ve seen from a wide receiver. I was very impressed for an offensive guy.
On defending a two-back running attack: We need a little bit more work on our pad level because we’ve been facing a lot of spread, one-back teams. The next part of the season is going to be a lot of power, attack plays, counters, two running backs, two tight ends and that’s something we haven’t seen too much of yet.
DE Sam Acho
On the defensive line’s play: We’re confident in our ability, but we know we have to get better.
On the best thing the defensive line has done: I think we’ve done a pretty good job of trying to stop the run. Last week we held UTEP to something like 10 yards. We’ve done a pretty good job of trying to stop the run. Colorado tries to run the ball a lot, so we’ll have to step up our game again.
On playing defensive tackle on occasion: I love coming off the edge, but the inside is fun too. Wherever I am on the field, I’m having fun.
On the major differences between end and tackle: It’s a huge testament to Lamarr, Kheeston and Ben Alexander, what they do. You don’t’ realize how hard it is until you get in there. There are 300 pounders double-teaming you every play. For Lamarr to get the pressure that he does, and Kheeston, and Ben Alexander to get the pressure they do, it makes me realize how hard they have to work to get in there.
On the quickness involved in playing defensive tackle: You have to be quick. Lamarr Houston is one of the best athletes on the team. Kheeston Randall is a quick guy. I saw him chase down a screen in the last game we played. He outran everybody. You definitely have to be quick in there.
On the off week: I think it’s a good time to refocus on our technique and get back to the basics. Each week we have been preparing for a different team. Now we get back to the basics and make sure we’re doing everything right, the little things.
S Earl Thomas
On the bye week coming off of a good performance: We’re not looking at that. We’ve got a long way to go. We’re just taking it one week by one week. We’re looking at little things, and getting ready to play Colorado.
On practices during the off week: We’re still game planning. It’s a lot like two-a-days. We’re going against our offense, and giving them different looks and helping them out.
On preparing for Colorado’s run game: We’re in a lot of base personnel, just reading our keys and doing what we’re coached.
On him and his brother being their conferences’ defensive player of the week: My mom was crying on the phone. My family is going through a lot with my grandpa. It’s just good for our family to help uplift the whole family.
On what his brother said about being conference player of the week: We talked for about two hours on the phone. It’s his first year starting. I’m really proud of him. He’s trying to send the film through the mail. So I’m going to get to see it too. He also had two interceptions.
On what the team does in an off week: We’ve still got a long way to go. Coach Muschamp is doing a great job with the defense, keeping us motivated. We’re just trying to create an edge every week.
On what game he’s looking forward to watching this weekend: It doesn’t matter. I just want to be able to rest and sit back and watch one.